By | 2019-10-17

Medical negligence cases are not as rare as you would like to believe. In fact, thousands of people experience negligence in the hands of doctors or health facilities every year. According to statistics, about 225,000 people succumb to some form of medical malpractice annually, from surgical errors to incorrect dosages to a wrong diagnosis and so on. This makes medical malpractice the third most common reason for death in the US.

Despite this, only 2% of medical malpractice victims bring a case against the responsible party. And even fewer get compensation for failing health, injury or pain and suffering. This can be attributed to the lack of supporting evidence and inexperience. Studies reveal that patients who work with an experienced Miami medical malpractice attorney have a higher chance or emerging successfully than those who choose to work alone or involve an inexperienced lawyer.

In this article, we will focus on the 4 Ds of medical negligence.

If you are dealing with a medical negligence lawsuit or thinking about filing one, you Miami medical negligence lawyer will assist you in using the 4 D’s to determine whether you have a strong case against the responsible party or not. The 4 Ds stand for duty, dereliction, direct causation, and damages.


All medical experts must maintain the applicable standard of care to their patients. This includes upholding high standards while rendering treatment, informing patients about any potential risk that a procedure may present, and keeping patient information and data confidential. On top of that, medical experts should educate patients on their specialization and expertise and only refer them to reputable professionals.


Dereliction happens when medical caregivers overstep their boundaries or fail to uphold the relationship that he or she has with the patient. For example, if a doctor promises a safe and clean environment during an operation, they are needed to keep their word. But if the patient ends up sustaining a complication or infection because of an unclean environment or unsafe practice, then its failure on the doctor’s part. The same applies to when the doctor neglects the patient, conducts unauthorized procedures, or issues the wrong medication.

Direct causation

If a dereliction of duty was present, the lawyer needs to establish whether it directly led to the negative outcome or not. Basically, this process determines if the actions of the medical practitioner were the direct cause of injury towards the patient. For instance, if the failure to diagnose a condition resulting in the patient falling further ill, it could potentially pass as direct causation.


The last D stands for damages, and it’s where the lawyer demonstrates that the deviation by the doctor was the direct cause of the patient’s injuries. For instance, a fractured leg fails to heal properly because the orthopedist didn’t apply the cast according to standards. In which case, the patient would have a direct cause that links the doctor to their injuries. Damages are the mental, emotional, physical, and financial suffrage of the patient due to dereliction of duty or direct causation by the caregiver.